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Trip Applications

Information about our Spring 2023 trips will be posted in late 2022.

Trips will be planned by our committee members in Fall 2022.  We hope to have the Site Leader application open before the end of fall semester and General Participant application will open around the same time.


Alternative Breaks Scholarships:

The WUD Alternative Breaks Trip Scholarship program seeks to enable all students, regardless of their financial situation, to participate in the WUD Alternative Breaks trips.  Through this program we are able to provide scholarships which can cover part, or all, of the advertised trip cost.  The scholarship program is generously supported through both the Charles F. Meissner Alternative Breaks Fund and the Richard Hall Colyer Alternative Breaks Fund.  

The application for scholarship funds is included within the trip application.


Questions? 

Read our trip FAQs below or email altbreaks@union.wisc.edu.

  • All UW-Madison students are able to apply and go on an Alternative Breaks trip, including International students, undergraduates and graduate students. Most trips will have 10 participants. 

  • There are two applications for each trip - one for Site Leaders and one for Participants. After checking out our website and becoming familiar with our program, determine if you would like to be a Site Leader or a Participant. Ensure that you fully understand the responsibilities and expectations for Site Leader/Participants, then fill out the online application. Applications are only accepted for a limited time, so be aware of deadlines.

  • Site Leaders are the liaisons between the WUD Alternative Breaks Committee and our trip participants. They are responsible for the creation of a safe and inclusive environment for all students, the development of activities for students to participate in during the alternative break trip, and the execution of reflection activities on their respective trips. Site Leaders are essential for us to create an engaging service-learning experiences for our students.

  • Each trip offers a unique volunteer experience working with different organizations. Alt Breaks partners with a variety of organizations that will allow you to get involved in various projects and activities. In the past, volunteers have worked on projects including environmental restoration, understaffed soup kitchens, initiatives to reduce homelessness, and assisting those with special needs.

    Every semester, we post trip descriptions for each alternative break. Read those to learn more about the location, the community partner(s), and the type of service likely to happen on the trip. To determine which trip you'd like best, we suggest that you also research the organization that we have partnered with for each trip to decide if that is the type of work you would like to do. 

  • Alternative Break trips were originally created as an alternative to the classic spring break trips that college students are known for. The trips provide students an opportunity to learn and grow while doing service in other communities. You'll learn leadership and communication skills, gain friendships, and it's an incredible resume builder.

    We also highly encourage all students to look into getting a Leadership Certificate, Alternative Breaks can count for the service portion of the certificate. For more information regarding how your trip experience can count, please visit their webpage or contact the Center for Leadership & Involvement.  

  • Prices vary for each trip. Our service trips typically cost between $200 and $400 although we continue to work to lower trip cost. These prices include transportation, housing, and administrative costs. Depending on the trip this cost may also include meals. We attempt to find housing that provides a kitchen so that your group can cook together to lower food costs and build team spirit.

    Scholarships are available on an as-needed basis.

  • All of our trips drive from Madison to their destination.  Trips travel use minivans from UW-Madison Fleet or the Wisconsin Department of Administration. WUD Alternative Breaks reserves the vehicles, but trip participants are responsible for picking up the vehicles on the day of departure. 

  • Housing arrangements for each trip will be organized by the Alternative Breaks committee. The situations vary depending on each trip. Some community partners offer housing or partner within nearby organizations with housing. Otherwise, we try to find low-cost housing in community or religious centers, hostels, or bed and breakfasts. 

  • Yes! There are two or three orientations each semester for you to get to know your group, complete team building activities and learn more about the work you will be doing on your service trip! There is also a post trip gathering you attend to share your experiences and meet some community partners!

    Site Leaders also have a leadership training, learning how to properly facilitate and how to become a better leader.

  • If you are selected as a trip participant, we will email you at the email account provided on the application.  Once you have been selected as a trip participant, you will receive an email with payment deadlines and other important dates. If you do not receive an email, assume that you have been placed on the waitlist for trips until you hear otherwise from us.

    If you are not notified via email within one week of the application closing, please contact us at altbreaks@union.wisc.edu for assistance.

  • Currently you pay for the trip in two payments.  The first payment is a $150 deposit to reserve your spot on the trip; this is due at the first orientation.  The second payment is for the remainder of the trip cost and is collected at the second orientation session.  Payments can be made via cash, check (made out to Wisconsin Union), or credit card (VISA or Mastercard).

    WUD Alternative Breaks has a no refund policy for both the trip deposit payments and the final trip payment.  If a trip is cancelled by WUD Alternative Breaks, a full refund may be processed for the individuals enrolled for the trip at the time of cancellation.  

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